Confluence Trash Bash 2015

This weekend I participated in the Confluence Trash Bash for the third time. This is a huge annual event, hosted by several organizations, to clean up trash along local waterways near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
Mosenthein IslandThis year, we signed up to work with Missouri River Relief on Mosenthein Island, which they describe as a “trash trap” in the Mississippi. It’s not much to look at this time of year, but this is the island from the opposite shore.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015
Confluence Trash Bash 2015During our safety talk I learned that the invasive Asian carp has made its way to this portion of the Mississippi and to watch out for flying fish. I did actually spot one on our way back across, luckily it was not near the boat!

Confluence Trash Bash 2015Confluence Trash Bash 2015Looking towards the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge from Mosenthein Island.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015 Confluence Trash Bash 2015As always I had to document my first piece of trash.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015For an island, there seemed to be a whole lot of animal tracks to be found. Lots of hoof prints and these paw prints which I’m thinking might be coyote.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015Katie climbed up this ridge for some plastic bottles and figured she might as well grab the tire too, but had no feasible way to carry it down.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015We assumed if she rolled it it would get snagged on one of these logs.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015Whoops. Luckily one of our River Relief guides came by soon after and fished it out.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015I quickly learned I should not climb any ridges, because I slipped and landed butt-first into a big pile of mud right off the bat.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015We were both enamored with this giant downed tree. Look at the size of those roots! Hard to imagine what could rip this thing out of the ground.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015Confluence Trash Bash 2015Confluence Trash Bash 2015Once we got into the wooded area of the island, we started to find the really interesting trash. We were told that a lot of the stuff littering the island is actually leftover from the 1993 flood, which might explain the household items like this deep freeze.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015Nearby we found the absolute jackpot of glass bottles like the one this snail was enjoying. They were almost all stamped from the late 80s and early 90s.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015We removed five bags of mostly bottles from just one small clearing.

Confluence Trash Bash 2015Confluence Trash Bash 2015In just 2 hours our boat cleared this entire pile of trash from this small section of the island!

If you’re interested in participating in other events like this, Missouri River Relief does many events throughout the year all over the state!